Snapper Closure Extension
Snapper fishery management arrangements
Following the release of the SARDI Snapper Stock Assessment Report 2022, the Marine Scalefish Fishery Management Advisory Committee (MSFMAC), made up of industry, recreational and traditional fishing experts, and fisheries management, economics and science representatives recommended that the West Coast/Spencer Gulf and Gulf St Vincent Snapper fisheries remain closed.
The Government of South Australia has accepted this recommendation and extended the closure, with the Spencer Gulf Fishing Zone, West Coast Fishing Zone and Gulf St Vincent/Kangaroo Island Fishing Zone now closed to Snapper fishing until 30 June 2026.
Fee relief and other support measures
An $8.8 million targeted support package, including $2.5 million from the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation, will assist impacted commercial, recreational and charter sectors and provide a significant boost in science funding and research to best support the recovery of Snapper stocks, including:
- fee relief for impacted Marine Scalefish Fishery licence holders and Charter Boat Fishery licence holders
- a science program to improve understanding of the factors that underpin Snapper stock recovery
- reef restoration, working closely with RecFish SA to ensure recreational fishers can play an active role in supporting Snapper stock recovery
- a Snapper restocking program that will produce nearly 1 million fingerlings to help replenish stocks across both gulfs.
We will continue to implement planned work including the development of a Snapper Rebuilding Plan and Snapper bycatch/discards reporting. We will also work with Seafood Industry Australia to expand the national Stay Afloat program in South Australia to support the mental health and well-being of affected commercial fishers, charter boat operators and seafood processors.
If you have concerns relating to the impact of the Snapper management measures you can also access support through the PIRSA initiated Family and Business (FaB) mentors. FaB mentors provide free informal financial or health and well-being advice.
Benefits of the measures
While the Snapper Stock Assessment Report 2022 has shown an arrest in the decline of the fishable biomass, the Spencer Gulf/West Coast and Gulf St Vincent stocks remain depleted. The extended closure will help Snapper stocks to recover as quickly as possible, allowing you to fish for Snapper well into the future.
To support the recovery of depleted Snapper stocks in South Australia, a ban on Snapper fishing was put in place from 1 November 2019 to 31 January 2023.
Snapper is an iconic fish in South Australia and a primary target for the commercial, recreational, and charter boat fishing sectors. The decline in Snapper stocks had been anecdotally noted by all three sectors for several years in the lead-up to the initial closure.
Fishing for Snapper in the South East Fishing Zone remains open, subject to existing bag, boat and size limits. A total allowable catch (TAC) is in place for commercial, charter and recreational sectors. Snapper fishing will be closed for each sector if the respective share of the total allowable catch (TAC) is reached prior to 30 June 2023. You must report your Snapper catch via the Fishwatch 24-hour hotline or the free SA Fishing app.
We will continue to work with all stakeholders to ensure the long-term sustainability of Snapper and our marine resources.
For more information on the management arrangements, including a map, and the supporting measures available visit: pir.sa.gov.au/snapper-management.
To read the Snapper Stock Assessment Report 2022 visit: